Is Risk Gone?
Sep 08, 2017
'Is risk gone?' Confusion as the Oroville Dam crisis grew
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD and ELLEN KNICKMEYER
A towering spillway at the nation's tallest dam was crumbling, and tens of thousands of people were fleeing for their lives. But as darkness fell, state officials realized dealing with the unfolding crisis in Northern California was about to get even worse: They couldn't see.
For years, federal regulators urged state officials in charge of the Oroville Dam to consider installing cameras, lights and more sensors and monitors to help alert managers to potential structural problems and, in a crisis, ensure there would be time to evacuate towns downstream. But on Feb. 12, as murky floodwaters washed away the second of two failing spillways, nightfall left officials struggling to figure out what was happening.